\r\n\r\nSpain\u2019s economy could shrink this year by as much as 15 percent in a worst-case scenario, according to the country\u2019s central bank, a contraction that would be among the steepest in the euro area.\r\nSpain has had one of the strictest coronavirus confinements in the region and is among the\u00a0most dependent on tourism,\u00a0which leaves the region\u2019s fourth-largest economy particularly exposed to the unprecedented shock caused by the global pandemic.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Spanish economy is also vulnerable because it has a large share of small companies, and employers rely in many cases on temporary workers, which means an immediate and massive shedding of jobs in an economic crisis.\r\nAccording to the Bank of Spain, the jobless rate - already at 14 percent before the pandemic - could jump to between 18.1 percent to 23.6 percent this year. Even in the best-case-scenario, it would remain above 17 percent through 2022.\r\nWith consumer prices falling, the central bank\u2019s economists said they\u2019re concerned about a negative impact on inflation expectations, particularly if demand doesn\u2019t recover as forecast. That echoes a warning from Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos in a Bloomberg interview last week.\r\nHernandez de Cos said fears of deflation justified the European Central Bank\u2019s decision to ramp up its emergency bond-buying program by 600 billion euros ($676 billion).\r\nIn its projections, the central bank sees the economy shrinking between 9 percent and 15 percent this year. That\u2019s based on assumptions about the survival rate of businesses and the possibility of a new outbreak.\r\nSpain\u2019s restrictions were concentrated in March-May and are now gradually being lifted. The economy will probably shrink between 16 percent and 21.8 percent this quarter.